September 30, 2020, 10:06:47 AM

Author Topic: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?  (Read 5748 times)

Offline eclipse

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Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« on: May 31, 2018, 11:22:01 AM »
I always liked Flint Fireforge arc from Dragonlance even if it was a bit sad at the end.
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Offline Peat

Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 11:31:47 AM »
Off the top of my head...

Rand Al'Thor - Wheel of Time - Watching a likable young lad struggle under a crushing weight of expectation, watch it pull him under then see him rise phoenix like to be the best of both worlds was one of my seminal fantasy experiences, and I think this might always be the arc I measure others against.

Mat Cauthon - Wheel of Time - I loved watching the way his sense of responsibility changed. Rek in Gemmell's Legend would be another good example of this.

Dave Martinyuk - Fionavar Tapestry - From bitter and insecure to confident in his own skin

Dashiel Jamieson - The Serpentwar Saga - Kinda like Mat, but I liked the way his experiences changed his world view, particularly compared to his brother, with whom he was near identical

Jimmy the Hand - Midkemia cycle - From brash and irreverent throwaway thief to implacably devoted elder statesman via all steps in between. One of the very few fantasy characters who I got to see go from 16 to 60.
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Offline Saraband

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 03:16:12 PM »
I really love Sebastian's arc in Jen Williams' The Copper Cat trilogy. I've also been enjoying Maniye, from Adrian Tchaikovsky's Echoes of the Fall series, but I haven't read the latest book yet - I don't know how satisfying the conclusion of her arc will be, but the journey so far has been quite good  :)
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 03:22:24 PM »
Drusas Achamian in The Prince of Nothing books. It's an unconventional arc, but I found it supremely satisfying.
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Online ScarletBea

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 03:42:16 PM »
I really love Sebastian's arc in Jen Williams' The Copper Cat trilogy.
This too :)

I also love the development of Malta in Robin Hobb's books, starting with the Liveship Traders trilogy. From a person I was quite happy hating and grew to love, that is BIG!
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 04:33:21 PM »
I always liked Flint Fireforge arc from Dragonlance even if it was a bit sad at the end.

Hmmm it's been so long I can't remember what happened to Flint. Raistlin and Caramon tho... Especially at the ending to their trilogy with Raistlin in the Abyss... that made an impression.

In mythology I've always been fascinated by Medea's transition from love to bitterness, in WoT Egwene's development into a boundary spanning leader (and Suian's fall and search for meaning) were particularly compelling

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 10:43:10 PM »
Jorg Ancrath in the Broken Empire trilogy without a shadow of a doubt.

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 10:46:28 PM »
Although it's not, and may never be finished in book form at least, I've always liked the arc of Jaime in AsoIaF, he goes from total black hat in the first book, to a swashbuckling hero in the 3rd, willing to sacrifice his own life for that of someone else.

Offline Peat

Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 11:35:50 PM »
Bigby Dareweasel and Elfy make excellent points. Particularly with Egwene. I'm not sure there's a character in the history of fantasy who's taken more ranks in badass between first and last appearance.

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 05:34:52 AM »
Probably these two, vastly different.

Sam Vimes of Discworld. Began as a disillusioned, cynical man, depressed, narrow minded in some respects  and suspicious of authority. Gradually discovers his natural talent for leadership and the ability to wield authority in an effective way without domination. Mind broadens and he actually learns about aspects of leadership from Lord Vetinari. Finds a softer side, without it affecting his need for toughness and ends up as an effective diplomat without relinquishing any of his down to earth practicality.   All happens gradually over several books and aided indirectly by the differing influence of all the characters around him.

Maia The Goblin Emperor begins life as a reviled outcast son and unexpectedly becomes Emperor. Sounds pretty standard, but the difference here is that he did not become an acclaimed hero by brave or daring, or intricate plotting, but quietly sticking to his principles, watching and learning as he went, applying lessons of caution he had learned in captivity, gently taking control little by little and changing things around him. By the end all was still not perfect but he had grown within himself and had the makings of a successful future for himself and his empire. This may sound boring because lacking great action, but it was clever, subtle and enjoyable and Maia was very endearing as his innocent naivete gave way to understanding.

I suspect Raistlin and Pug would have been on this list once, but it is too long since I have read them, although @Peat has just made me want to visit Midkemia again.  ;)

« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 05:37:40 AM by Lady Ty »
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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 04:15:17 PM »
Kaladin and Dalinar in the Stormlight Archives! Absolutely fantastic!

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 05:43:11 PM »
How is Glokta not on here yet?  ;D

I really enjoyed Syenite's story in the Broken Earth trilogy. Logen Ninefingers in the First Law trilogy also springs to mind, especially if you include the 'bonus' books (can't say much more without spoilering).

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Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2018, 05:46:43 PM »
I really enjoyed Syenite's story in the Broken Earth trilogy.
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Offline Peat

Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2018, 10:27:30 PM »

I suspect Raistlin and Pug would have been on this list once, but it is too long since I have read them, although @Peat has just made me want to visit Midkemia again.  ;)

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I considered Vimes (and Weatherwax too) but both felt like they shifted because of Pratchett's idea of them shifted, more than a planned arc in response to events. I might be wrong.

I've always felt that his best character arc is Magrat Garlick, but I never found it particularly satisfying.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Most satisfying character arcs you’ve read?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 02:14:34 AM »
Mara in the Empire Trilogy by Raymond Feist & Janny Wurts. Also Pug (Feist) and Malta (Hobb).